I wonder about depression. Think about it a lot. I wonder if it’s hereditary. I wonder where it comes from. Why it comes. Why some have it and some don’t. Why it has such a stranglehold on my soul. Why I can’t escape from it. It has been a constant companion from my earliest days of life. And I’m rather tired of it hanging around. But nothing I do or say or decide seems to make a difference. I’ve told it to buzz off. To no avail. It doesn’t listen. It’s smothering me. Choking the life right out of me.
I was always a bit of a fearful and highly sensitive child. I pondered the universe early on. As a small child, I cried at Maytag commercials, because the repair man was so lonely. I clearly remember when I was 7, I wept uncontrollably when it was time to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new. I realized the old was gone forever. There was no going back. So perhaps there was something about my genetic makeup that predisposed me to being melancholy. Something that pushed me toward depression. That caused me to see the loss instead of the possibilities.
My mother certainly was…depressed, that is. There were times in my early childhood that I clearly remember when she couldn’t care for us or our house. If not for my grandmother, my mother’s mother, on whose property our trailer sat, I’m fairly certain there would have been many evenings when we would not have had food to eat. Our clothes probably wouldn’t have been laundered. Our hair wouldn’t have been washed. As it was, there were tiny paths through the debris that littered the floor of our trailer. Were it not for these paths, it would have been impossible to walk from one room to another. The debris, which consisted of clothes, toys, papers, shoes, and things of this nature, was about knee high on a small child (me). My mother couldn’t cope. There were days she had great difficulty getting out of bed. Her depression was something I became aware of very early on. She oozed sadness. Disappointment. That never changed, in spite of medication and counseling. Depression was modeled for me by a master with a great degree of perfection. She wrapped herself in mild to deep depression until her death. It was one of her tools of manipulation and she wielded it with a high degree of expert skill.
I don’t know about my father. Not when it comes to depression. He held his cards close. But he wasn’t happy. And he was ill in ways that had a huge impact on my life. The physical abuse. The sexual abuse. The way he rejected me and belittled me. Demanded more and more. Nothing I ever was or did was good enough. I never mattered.
So whether or not I was genetically predisposed to depression or taught by masters from an early age…or a combination of both, darkness has tinted and permeated my life. It’s a deep and abiding darkness that I simply can’t seem to penetrate. Nor can I escape. I have fought it until I am completely worn out. I’ve tried every medication, every combination of medications, every behavioral therapy, talk therapy, praying, journaling, whatevering…nothing has helped. I remain imprisoned in the darkness that holds me prisoner.
When darkness falls, there isn’t much a person can do other than adapt to the dark.
Darkness fell early in my life. The world I’ve lived in has been almost entirely dark. I’ve adapted to a degree. I did a better job of it when I was younger. When I was more able to keep up the appearance of being successful than not. When I could keep the mask from slipping and prevent others from seeing the deranged, empty, hurting person who lived behind. I watch others who live in pools of light and am in awe. I’m filled with deep longing for a bit of what they have. It’s perplexing. I’ve been trapped in this darkness for so long and no matter what effort I’ve put into trying to escape, nothing has yielded results. But others DO manage to escape. And some are never touched by the darkness at all. Why am I trapped in this nightmare? This netherworld? Why can’t I escape? What is is about me that keeps me from successfully finding my way to the light?
“Ain’t no sunshine when”…you’ve been abused, broken, rejected, unloved, hit, berated, used, unwanted, despised, neglected, cast aside, sexually abused…
Darkness falls. When the sun is gone, darkness prevails. There is no escaping the inky shadows.
Or is that just my broken, depressed heart crying out in the night?